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Home / Tips and Tricks / With Google Maps you can now go incognito. This is what it can and cannot do

With Google Maps you can now go incognito. This is what it can and cannot do


You can now use Incognito when you use Google Maps. Angela Lang / CNET

Google has introduced an incognito mode feature that allows you to use MIA while using the Maps app . In other words, you can use Maps without showing others where you are going, which can be useful when it's your birthday or planning a surprise outing. It also does not store any places you searched for, in case you share your device, location or Google account with loved ones.

Digital privacy has become a top priority in the midst of growing concern that people's movements are being tracked and recorded on their phones . Companies are now responding more than ever to user demand by implementing tools that allow customers to regain control of their privacy.

The Google Maps incognito mode is being rolled out this month on Android phones, so you may not be able to see it completely. Google says it will be coming to iPhones ($ 699 at Amazon) soon, although we don't have an exact date. Here you can read how you can go incognito in Maps and everything we know about the new function.


Switch the incognito mode on and off

1. Open the Google Maps app on your Android phone.

2. Tap your profile icon in the top right corner.

3. Select Enable Incognito Mode .

4. When you are ready to turn off the setting, follow the same instructions as above and select Turn off the incognito mode .

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Incognito mode is coming to Google Maps


What happens if you are in incognito mode

When you use incognito mode, Google does not store your Maps activity in your Google account and you do not see a list of personalized recommendations. For example, if you search for a coffee shop or restaurant, that information is not stored while you are incognito. You will also not see any information about your commuting (such as how long it takes you to go home or work).

Also, maps will not update your location history or shared location if you are incognito. So if you share your location with a family member or friends, they cannot see where you are when you have enabled the setting.

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Your profile icon changes to the Incognito icon.

Screenshot by Katie Conner / CNET

What Incognito Mode Does Not Do

Google notes that enabling Incognito Mode does not "affect how your activity is used or stored by internet providers, other apps, voice searches, and other Google services." So in fact, the incognito mode only keeps your location data private from shared users. It does not necessarily keep your browsing history hidden from other websites.

What is not available when Incognito is enabled

  • Commute
  • For You (personalized recommendations)
  • Location history for your entire device [19659028] Share location
  • Notifications and messages
  • Search history
  • Suggestions for completed searches
  • Contributions Google Maps
  • Google Assistant microphone in navigation
  • Offline maps
  • Your places
  • Media integration (playing music such as Spotify and Apple Music)

More tips for Need Google Maps? Check out these four hidden Google Maps tricks that you should know and how you can avoid speed controls with Google Maps .

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